I created Never Alone after my father died.
It was my way to work through the depression that followed.
A Quick Word
Hey ya’ll, it’s Tall Paul here.
Up until I was 33, I had no idea how to live life for me. Instead, I was always acting for others.
I only started speaking openly, and honestly, after Dad died on May 21, 2018. I realized that I was not only misleading those around me, but I was also fooling myself.
I grew up a purebred athlete, always being the tallest, most athletic kid. After a while, it became clear baseball was the path that would take me farthest. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted me in 2003 in the 45th round. I did not sign, but instead, I went to college and ended up playing on both basketball and baseball at LSUS.
For those five and a half years of college, I ended up four classes short of getting my General Studies Degree. And to this day, I still haven’t gotten it.
Shame and embarrassment used to fill my life, which held me back from becoming the person I wanted to be. Shame in my school shortcomings, sports failures and not succeeding after all my parents put into me.
Losing Dad was the saddest day of my life; however, it shed off that skin that held me back.
Bringing Never Alone to life has been me stepping outside my comfort zone. As an individual, a friend and family member and as an entrepreneur.
I’m starting new in my early 30’s and not looking back.
To have 100,000 of you share your Never Alone stories.
The Never Alone Story
On May 21, 2018, my world changed forever.
Dad died from cancer.
The thing was, the cancer was a blessing. The two prior years, my family and I watched him deteriorate from Lewy body dementia. I would go home weekly and see a new man each time. In the last three months of his life, I numbed to it all, that was the only way I could cope. Seeing him become a fraction of himself, was too much to bear.
Within mere weeks of cancer showing up, he was gone, and my mental health took a sharp downward spiral. Anxiety and depression gripped my everyday life. I took time off work and then cut down my hours to a fraction of what they once were. I just couldn’t cope.
Instead of hiding these lows, I decided to give them their time on my Instagram and Twitter feeds.
I went from sharing only the best parts of my life to being honest in all areas was drastic.
It resonated with people.
Friends and followers started reaching out with their own stories of mental struggles, thanking me for showing them that they were not alone.
A community was born, and this was the start of Never Alone.
Growing up, I was an athlete first, and everything else came a far second. I played every sport possible while finishing up as a two-sport athlete at Louisiana State Unverisity of Shreveport. With dad being my biggest supporter, coach and friend.
After many mistakes and ill-guided jobs, I found my way back to physical fitness, becoming a personal trainer. In the next ten years, I learnt how not to run a business—setting myself up to take Never Alone on a path of success, one day at a time.
The Never Alone community would not be here today if dad didn’t die on May 21, 2018.
This is the silver lining, and ability to give back to my dad for all those years he gave so selflessly to me.